Wests Tigers have ended a six-game losing streak in remarkable fashion tonight, defeating South Sydney 30-22 tonight at ANZ Stadium.
Just five days after losing to the Canberra Raiders in the nation’s capital, the side recorded its third win of the season thanks to standout performances from Luke Brooks and Robbie Farah.
Wests Tigers were dealt a blow before kick-off, with five-eighth Mitchell Moses suffering a quad strain in the warm-up which forced a re-shuffle with Chris Lawrence moving into the halves, Kyle Lovett starting in the backrow and Asipeli Fine earning a call-up on the bench.
It was a dream start on the field however, with Luke Brooks putting a sneaky grubber behind the line with James Tedesco flying through to claim his ninth try of the 2016 season.
Jordan Rankin converted the try to make it a 6-0 lead after just five minutes of play.
On the back of strong runs from David Nofoaluma and Rankin, Wests Tigers were in again with Tedesco throwing a crisp cut-out pass to Rankin who finished well in the left corner.
The former Gold Coast Titan was unable to convert his own try from the sideline, leaving the score at 10-0 after 13 minutes.
Off the very next set, Brooks weaved his magic with a high arching kick that Rabbitohs fullback let bounce which remarkably ended up back in the halfbacks hands who strolled over to score.
Rankin was unable to convert the try, with the score remaining 14-0 after 16 minutes.
The ambush continued with Robbie Farah coming up with a deft kick for a flying Kevin Naiqama, who planted the ball down to the right of the uprights.
After two consecutive misses, Rankin made no mistake with his fourth attempt to bring the score out to 20-0 after 22 minutes.
Matching an impressive attacking display in the opening stages, Wests Tigers showed an impressive defensive display holding out Souths for numerous sets before Nathan Brown spilled the ball over the line.
Just four minutes out from half time, South Sydney troubled the scoreboard attendants despite Rankin being taken out by his opposing winger Aaron Gray while attempting to catch a towering bomb.
The NRL Bunker ruled that Tim Simona interfered with the chaser, forcing Gray to take out Simona and play was called on with Kirisome Auva’a pouncing on the ball for a try.
Adam Reynolds converted the try from the sideline, narrowing Wests Tigers’ lead to 20-6 at the half-time break.
Wests Tigers were dealt another injury blow with Tedesco failing to come back on the field after the half time break due to a shoulder complaint.
South Sydney were first to score in the second half, with Reynolds putting up another towering bomb which was lost by David Nofoaluma and picked up by Bryson Goodwin and planted down next to the posts.
Reynolds converted the try to reduce the gap to just 20-12 after 44 minutes.
Dane Nielsen scored the third try in nine minutes of play for South Sydney, with the Rabbitohs shifting the ball left on the back of a Sam Burgess line-break.
Reynolds’ sideline conversion meant Wests Tigers lead was down to 20-18 after 51 minutes.
Wests Tigers were finally given possession after a South Sydney kick went over the dead-ball line and marched their way down field in a strong attacking set.
On the last tackle, Brooks drove a grubber behind the South Sydney defenders and Rankin raced through to get a hand on it before Inglis for his second try of the match.
Rankin converted his own try to make it a 26-18 lead after 55 minutes.
Well and truly on the front foot, Wests Tigers laid on another try with a great cut-out pass from Farah sending David Nofoaluma over in the corner.
Rankin missed the conversion, however his side held a 30-18 lead going into the last 16 minutes.
South Sydney set up a grand stand finish when Goodwin went over in the corner for his second try, however Reynolds hit the post with his conversion leaving it at an eight-point ball game with six minutes to go.
That’s how the final scoreline would read, with Wests Tigers winning the match 30-22 at ANZ Stadium.
Wests Tigers 30 (Rankin 2, Brooks, Naiqama, Nofoaluma, Tedesco tries; Rankin 3/6 conversions) defeated South Sydney (Goodwin 2, Auva’a, Nielsen tries; Reynolds 3/4 conversions)